Urban Prototype

Reynolds is aiming to lead the foodservice industry from a road safety perspective, by commissioning two of the first temperature-controlled Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks, which we have named the Urban Prototype.

The high-visibility vehicles have a deep, panoramic windscreen and a full-length, folding side door. This allows the driver to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions or in traffic queues.

urban-prototype-driver-viewThe 18-tonners are also fitted with Sentinel camera systems that give the driver a 360-degree view. An audible warning is sounded when a cyclist is alongside. Strobe lighting is available for use when crews are unloading at night.

The Urban Prototype’s standout low-entry cab has just two steps rather than the traditional four, which reduces the risk of access and egress injuries for the operator’s driver and ‘van assistant’. Easy through-cab access allows both to enter and exit safely on the non-traffic side.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London (TfL), said: “I’m pleased that Reynolds is at the vanguard of forward-thinking companies by using safer lorries with higher levels of driver direct vision. Our recently-published Direct Vision Standard will help other companies bring their fleets up to modern safety standards and make London’s roads safer for all.”

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The Urban Prototypes leave Reynolds’ National Distribution Centre at Waltham Cross between 2.30 and 3am. They are invariably back at base by mid-day, having typically made 30-35 deliveries.

Reflecting these early hours of operation, Reynolds has also gone to great lengths to ensure the Urban Prototypes are as quiet as possible. Their full air suspension makes a positive contribution to noise reduction, while Thermo King promotes its underslung UT-800 fridge as “whisper-quiet”. The vehicle bodies are also equipped with sound-deadening Marothaan floor coatings.

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